|Hi, I’m Craig Fugate, Administrator at FEMA, and I’m a firm believer that FEMA runs best when each of us acts in an ethical manner. As public servants, we have an obligation to promote the confidence in the public in the integrity of our decisionmaking.
Government agencies that make ethical decisions as part of their DNA have the highest morale and are the best run organizations. So I expect all FEMA employees to incorporate ethics into their decisionmaking when contemplating or taking actions on behalf of the agency. This agency will incorporate the values of transparency, integrity, and accountability in everything we do. These aims are among our highest priorities for FEMA.
To help in this effort, all current FEMA employees will attend ethics training each year to refresh their familiarity with the Federal ethics rules and regulations. Also, all new FEMA employees including our Disaster Assistance Employees and Local Hires are required to attend initial ethics training as part of their in-processing with FEMA.
I expect managers to support the agency’s ethics program, and to ensure that they and their employees file their financial disclosure forms in a timely manner, attend ethics training, and promptly seek ethics advice when you’re in doubt.
We expect all managers to be role models by complying with Federal ethics rules and regulations, and not tolerating those who do not comply with these rules. I want managers to acknowledge and reward ethical behavior by our staffs, and I will not tolerate unethical behavior. At FEMA we do not retaliate or punish “whistle-blowers” and I hold managers accountable to ensure that.
Ethics is an essential part of how we operate here at FEMA, and I’m proud to be part of this team. But also as emergency managers, we have more obligations. That is to protect the interest of the entire community, particularly the most vulnerable: children, the elderly, the disabled, and the poor. As emergency managers we also need to act responsibly as stewards of Federal funds. As emergency managers we must avoid the appearance of conflict of interest, favoritism, or the lack of impartiality. And as emergency managers we will promote an all-hazard preparedness to include mitigation. As emergency managers we will work towards consensus whenever possible among all of our stakeholders, and as emergency managers we will never stop seeking to educate ourselves, to enhance our skills and knowledge to better serve the public.
As part of FEMA, we have many responsibilities, but our highest responsibility is to each other. We have to be honest and forthright, and have not any questions about our abilities to serve the public because we may have been seen or have implied that we were not ethical in our decisionmaking. This is a core value that we cannot ignore. We must be, and at all times, transparent, we must always be credible, we must always be fair in dealing with our partners. Thank you. Close